8 most common causes of website downtime and how to fix them

Amazon in 2013 lost $5 million dollars for just single hour the website was down. Perhaps you are not Amazon, but the point is clear; downtime is very costly. Even though you don’t lose revenue directly, you can lose your users’ trust and credibility. Lets help you prepare yourself against website downtime by understanding the most common causes of downtime.

Software and CMS bugs

Coding errors or software bugs in your own code or the Content Management System(CMS) such as WordPress or Drupal cause internal server errors usually represented as HTTP codes in the range of 500s. Poorly designed Plugins usually cause thousands of websites to fail. So be sure to read the reviews before installing the plugin.

Insufficient resources

Server resource starvation could cause the website to fail. If your server has run out of space or compute resources like RAM or CPU are being maxed out, your website will fail to load. Ask your hosting provider if they are allocating enough resources for your website.

Missing website files

Another common error is 404 which means the page couldn’t be found for several reasons; misconfigured routes or URLS or missing web pages. Be sure to look out for missing broken links on your website as these cause your site to fail.

Expired SSL certificates

When your SSL certificate is expired, web visitors won’t be able to access your website. It’s common to forget to renew SSL certificates or for auto-renewing scripts to fail to run. With your SSL certificate expired, the browsers will display a warning to visitors informing them that your website is insecure.

Google Chrome Expired SSL certificate warning

Site Monki has an SSL Certificate checker and reminder feature which will send your alerts 2 weeks, 3 days and on the day of expiry so you don’t forget to renew your SSL.

Expired Domain name

This will most undoubtedly bring your website down. Every website has a domain name which web visitors remember and use to access corresponding site. In most cases, these domain names also correspond to business names. For instance for Pizza shop called Garry’s Pizza, the website address is most like going to be and should be something similar to the business name such as garrypizza.com. When Garry forgets to renew his domain, it’ll expire and be released in the public domain free for anyone to register. Meanwhile anyone visiting http://garrypizza.com will bounce.

Site Monki offers Domain name monitoring and protection. We send your alerts 2 weeks, 3 days and on the day of expiry so you don’t forget to renew your domain name.

DNS Configuration issues

If your website doesn’t go down because of an expired domain, DNS could be another weak link. DNS or Domain Name System is a tree-like hierarchical network of servers that convert domain names such as sitemonki.com to a corresponding IP address such as 18.233.80.179. DNS exists to bridge human-readable domain names with computer-based networking addressing schemes.

intodns DNS checker

Domain records are kept at Name Servers which your domain registry will most likely offer. If no name server is listed for your domain, let alone correctly configured DNS records, your website will undoubtedly go down. You can test out the DNS configurations of your domain using tools like https://intodns.com.

Malware and Hackers

Hackers are constantly looking to exploit vulnerable websites either for fun or for monetary gains. One of the most common forms of malware today is when hackers inject bitcoin mining scripts into your website. The server your website is being hosted on will be turned into a bitcoin mining rig which will most likely slow down your website or have it turned off by your hosting provider. The other form of hacking is where malicious person will replace your website files with scrupulous ones usually with a message that your website has been hacked.

Expired hosting plans

This might sound obvious, but it happens. If your web hosting plan has expired and you didn’t renew your account, your hosting provider will be forced to turn off your website. Be sure to always keep your billing information updated so that you don’t miss out on notifications from your provider.

You can be proactive with your website up time by subscribing to website uptime monitoring services online. You can get started today for free with Site Monki.